Anastasia Vertinskaya, Soviet-Russian actress
Anastasia Vertinskaya is a famous Soviet-Russian film and theater actress.
Future star of Soviet cinema was born on December 19, 1944 in Moscow, in a creative family. Her father was a composer, legendary Russian singer, actor, poet Alexander Vertinsky, and her mother was a painter and actress Lydia Vertinskaya (Tsiagvava). Anastasia’s older sister Marianna is also an actress, she worked in the Vakhtangov State Academic Theatre.
Father taught sisters to love art, music and literature, because he believed that, regardless of their future profession, daughters must be fully developed.
In 1961, being a schoolgirl Vertinskaya played her debut role of Assol in the movie “Scarlet Sails” directed by Alexander Ptushko, based on Alexander Grin’s novel.
The girl became famous, even though she did not know how to behave and what to do in front of the camera.
Her second role was more successful, Gutierrez in the film “The Amphibian Man” directed by Vladimir Chebotarev and Gennadi Kazansky. At the international festival of fantastic cinema in Trieste (Italy), this film won “Silver Asteroid” award.
And at the age of 18 Vertinskaya already became an actress of the Moscow Pushkin Theatre. She began touring all over the country.
The young nonprofessional actress was invited for the role of Ophelia in the adaptation of “Hamlet” by Shakespeare. After this role, Anastasia realized that she wanted to be an actress. After “Hamlet” Vertinskaya has become one of the most sought after actresses.
In 1967 Vertinskaya graduated from Shchukin Theater School.
After the epic “War and Peace” she was Kitty Shtcherbatskaya in the film adaptation of “Anna Karenina” by Leo Tolstoy.
In the theater, she played Nina in “The Seagull”, Elena Andreevna in “Uncle Vanya”, Lisa in “Living Corpse”, Elmira in “Tartuffe”, as well as the title roles in “Valentin and Valentina”, “12th night” and many others.
Vertinskaya starred in many films: Hold Your Head Up! (1969), Enamoureds (1969), Case of Polynin (1970), A Shadow (1972), Domby and Son (1974, TV play), Nameless Star (1978), The Gadfly (1980), The Lives of Don Quixotes and Sancho (1988), New Adventures of a Yankee in King Arthur’s Court (1988), Thirst of Passion (1991), Casus Belli (2002) and others.
In 1980 Anastasia was awarded the title of Honored Artist of the RSFSR. Eight years later, the actress was awarded the title of People’s Artist.
Vertinskaya taught acting together with Alexander Kalyagin in Paris and Oxford.
In 1991 Anastasia founded Charitable Foundation for Russian actors.
Vertinskaya’s husband was Nikita Mikhalkov, who later became a prominent film director and actor. They were “Soviet cinema’s most beautiful couple”. In 1966, Anastasia gave birth to their son Stepan. But four years later they divorced. Anastasia was already a celebrity, but Nikita just began to play. Mikhalkov was sure that the wife should stay at home, cook soups and wait for her husband.
Later Vertinskaya was romantically linked with actor Mikhail Kozakov, then had a three year long relationship with Alexander Gradsky, a Russian rock singer-songwriter; contrary to a popular belief they weren’t officially married.
Among her fans were great actors of the Soviet era, such as Oleg Yefremov, Boris Eifman, Pavel Slobodkin.
About her novels Anastasia says, “I had only one husband – Nikita Mikhalkov. Of course, I had love affairs. Most “long lasting” person in my life was Oleg Yefremov. He was older than me, much more experienced, he gave me life as an actress. I adored him.”